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Green Zone League Articles

If The Price Is Right
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

We all love a good trade and scouring the market for a good deal or just the right type of player is a big part of being a GM. Building a team with the right talent gets us into the post season, but being savvy about trades' means you get more bang for your buck and potentially a better chance at success. When looking at any potential acquisition, I always way up the cost of a player versus the return in not only skill but in longevity of playing time and contract remaining, plus then you factor in the contract cost and if you can afford them now and into the future.

On that last point, how much do higher salaries affect the move-ability of players? Does anyone see some players on block, think "Yep, that's a nice deal for their skills", but then baulk at trading for them because they have a $10M plus salary? I know I've seen a few such cases that I've gone through this process with because essentially you see this as a salary dump move, even if it's not. But does a higher salary detract from their overall value to you as a possible receiving GM, or is it a minor consideration behind their potential as a player on the field? I feel that this is the case for many players offered at a bargain price that see no love because no-one can afford their salary. The off shoot of this is that some GMs think they'll be cut and then they can scoop them up as a free agent for no cost and at a cheaper contract, but many are disappointed when this does not eventuate.

The other factor that plays a large part in trade block players is remaining contracts. With very limited capability to resign and restructure top end talent without having to face a potential match eligible bidding war, there seems to be a high number of players on trade blocks in the last year of their deals as GMs try to avoid the dilemma of who to focus their resigns on. But my question is about their trade value at such a point. Are they really worth such a high price when the receiving GM will be passed the problem? There are plenty of quality players on the market, many asking for a 1st round pick ( I won't say value as they'd be loathe to accept multiple lower picks) and majority of them are in the last year of their contracts. In most cases we know for a fact that the only reason the player is on the trade block in the first place is because the owning GM will have difficulties resigning them next year. This isn't always the case as some players are floated out there before being restructured or resigned in the only window available before a major cap hit is worn. But in either case the short remaining contract does scare away potential suitors who won't end open negotiations because they lack the capability to retain the player. Given a lower price tag they may enter the discussion but for the most part we aren't looking for short term fixes.

This all leads to my last point, which is what do you deem as sufficient returns for the trading of a first round pick? What I mean is what factors do you take into consideration when making a trade, such as how many years of top end performance will you get before regression, what overall level of skill are they now and can achieve, how many contract years do they give you for a bargain price, or what position they play? From my own perspective when I consider dealing out a 1st my main consideration is how many years of play will I get out of them before they regress as I tend to trade for players I want for the long term. Contract comes into it but there are ways and means to work around that, but I tend to think that if I trade for a 99 overall guy who only has 2-3 years left before regression and diminished returns then perhaps paying a 1st is a little too much. I'm sure this has hurt my ability to reach the pinnacle NOW on numerous occasions, but it has allowed my team to be a consistent winner and playoff contributor for my entire tenure here. When we don't have to consider off the field attributes, personality, etc. to any deals with Madden players then what really drives our decision making? Even if a guy looks good on paper but hasn't turned those skills into performances over the years does that deter us, or is the opposite even true (attribute wise isn't that flash but has put up the numbers consistently)? I have blindsided myself to potential trades or over-pursued players trying to find the perfect fit with my own trading formula, but what is the right price for you?
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